Generally speaking my usual posts are very philosophical, thought provoking and somewhat serious in nature. Considering my intentions of giving sound advice to the world of students and alumni, I thought why not mix it up by giving some plain speaking pointers on a much more pressing issue that affects the masses. And I’m not taking about meeting uni deadlines, balancing bills or winning at work… no this is a much more of a concerning pandemic.
How to survive the hangover?
How is it possible to have a great night out after a tiring week and wake up the next day without wanting to shoot yourself?
Judging by the fact that hangovers only seem to intensify with age (this I know to be true) over the recent years and many bad experiences later, I have quietly taken it upon myself to find a way of battling this dreaded demon. And I think I’ve found a way, not only to survive, but to actually defeat the tedious weekend spoiler.
I think the secret to success in defeating any deadly enemy, is attack. I think we all have a tendency to lie down like losers feeling sorry for ourselves. We let the alcohol win. Imagine you stupidly decide to start a fight with someone and then just lie down there on the floor saying please don’t hit me. What’s likely to happen? As strange as that sounds that’s kind of what we do when we’ve had a few.
So with that obscure comparison hopefully stamped in your minds, it’s time to consider a plan of attack. I have made one such plan. And I would say with an estimated 85% success rate in improved next day wellness, this may well be the best way to go. For those of you who say, oh well that’s not 100% effective then, it’s time to be realistic. Sometimes we just have to pay for our sins.
So here’s what I suggest…
Step 1: Line the stomach- I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying eating’s cheating. This is just ridiculous. Follow this advice and you’re likely to end up in a gutter half way through the night trying to spew up your own guts because there’s nothing there to be sick. Disgusting I know and I swear that bit of advice is not from experience. Anyway moving on.
Step 2: Don’t drink more than you can handle! – Yes I know this sounds patronising, obvious and more to the point, boring, but it isn’t really if you think about it. I’m not saying don’t push the boundaries. But I do think we all need to take a moment during our epic nights to think- if I have one more drink it’s going to be a point of no return. At this point most of us will end up vomiting out of a taxi window of something. Chose to ignore this and let’s be honest you deserve to have the hangover.
Step 2: Drink water between booze! – Again many of the hard-core will say this is too sensible and who thinks to do that whilst on a session. Well be this as it may, I find that just sipping on water, even if it is just a small glass half way through the night, makes a world of difference. Hangovers are essentially caused by dehydration. Combating this inevitability early gives you an early advantage.
Step 3: Don’t drink to the death! – We all get in to the habit at times of drinking and drinking and drinking until we are no longer in the presence of a bar. Think about it, its 2/3 am and you’re already extremely drunk. Stop drinking at this point and I can guarantee a few hours later you’re still going to be the same. Meanwhile you will be giving your body the much needed time it needs to start the recovery process. Let’s be honest, we all know deep down that the only real cure for a hangover, is time.
Step 4: Grab a greasy take away on the way home!- I think we all know this trick of the trade by now. This may be because we are all educated individuals. Or maybe it’s because we all secretly like to use it as an excuse to fill our faces with shocking unhealthy grub. Let’s be honest most of us wouldn’t chose to eat it sober. Never-the-less eating food at the end of the night helps soak up the beer.
Step 5: The deal breaker!- This is by far the most important step to take to avoid a vicious hangover. Again it may be obvious, but it is essential. DRINK WATER BEFORE BED. Fill up a pint glass with the clear stuff and actually drink half of it before going to sleep. So it may wake you in the night for the toilet, but who ever said having a good night out was practical. Avoid this step at your peril. There’s nothing worse than waking up with a banging head and a cactus throat.
Step 6: Sleep!- Get as much sleep as possible. Apparently we don’t sleep very well after drink. God knows why. Try to have undisturbed sleep and lie in as late as possible. Yep that’s what I said. Fatigue is a major influence in the hangover plague. If you have to get up early for work the next day, then that’s just bad planning on your part
Step 6: Water in the morning!- Drink the rest of you pint of water when you wake up. This will continue your good work from the night before. It’s all about flushing that alcohol out of your system.
Step 7: Eat a sugary breakfast!- Many people make the mistake of going straight for the fry up. Wrong! Eat something easy on the stomach first thing, like sugary cereal. This gives your stomach a break and stabilises the blood sugar levels.
Step 8: Exercise/steam- The prospect of leaving the house and actually doing something after a night out is unthinkable for some. But if you just push through those reservations you will find that this can be the most effective cure. Exercise makes you sweat out toxins and realises endorphins, which make you feel awesome. If you have access to a steam room this is also a great detox. It sweats out the booze.
Step 9: The fry up- Yes I didn’t exclude this one from the list. However this should be eaten at lunch time. After much debate studies now suggest that fry-ups do actually help. Again I think this is down to the fat content etc. I don’t really know but they seem to work. Including baked beans and tomatoes are meant to be particularly effective.
Step 10: Rest– As I said earlier, fatigue is a major factor in a hangover. Spend the afternoon taking it easy. And make sure you keep drinking water. The battle is not yet won.
Step 11: Food– It would have been great to keep this at 10 points, but there is one more important step in helping to slay the beast. Dinner time is important. Judging by the fast food queues on a Sunday evening, I think most people have this one cracked too. Again more greasy food is needed. It is rather grim that so many points involve artery busting fatty foods. I never said this was a health drive. I think it would be silly to think tackling a sin in such a way would be the way forward. It goes without saying the rest of your week should be a healthy one. This should soak up the remaining alcohol like sieve. A certain fast food gravy can work wonders. It may actually be prescribed on the NHS in future years.
If you have followed all these points by the book, you should be feeling great now. Ok well maybe not great, but not death like. If not then you either drank too much or you were unlucky. Or my advice just didn’t work. I never said this was a guarantee.
I do hope this wisdom helps in one life’s great battles. Any feedback might prove useful in innovating this cure so I will be on the lookout for enhancements. In the meantime good luck- in time we will beat the hangover!